USS NORTH DAKOTA
USS North Dakota (SSN-784) is a Virginia-class
submarine. This ship is the first of the
Block III subs which will feature a revised bow,
including some technology from Ohio-class submarine
cruise missile submarines. She costs $2.7 billion to build.
USS North Dakota's payload tubes replace the more
costly individual Vertical Launch System payload
tubes of the past. Unlike the first 10 Virginia
Class submarines that housed 12 Tomahawks in
individual VLS tubes, North Dakota will use two of
the new tubes to house and launch the same number of
missiles. The new tubes will provide the North
Dakota with greater payload flexibility because it
will be able to house a range of weapon payloads
that are too big for existing VLS tubes.
"This shows how much cutting-edge technology is
being used in the construction of this sub," said
Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D.
Over the past few years, Dorgan led an effort for
the Navy to name a new North Dakota. He invited Sen.
Kent Conrad, Rep. Earl Pomeroy and a number of other
distinguished North Dakotans to form the North
Dakota Committee, and convinced former Secretary of
State Warren Christopher, who was born in North
Dakota at Scranton, to be honorary chairman. Last
July, that effort paid off.
Until then, North
Dakota was one of only five states that had not
had more than one ship named after it, despite
North Dakota's significant contributions to
branches of the U.S. military. The first and
only at sea North Dakota (BB-29) was
decommissioned in 1923.